Shaun McGlade, SMCG Ltd

Gen BODY - Shaun McGlade-min

Tell us about your academic background?

I achieved 2.1 Hons Degree in Business Studies at University of Ulster, Jordanstown.

Why accountancy?

Throughout my school and university life I had a keen interest in how businesses structured themselves financially depending on the strategy prevalent in the organisation.

I viewed the taxation of business and more importantly the value add to an organisation of good tax planning as a key competitive advantage for me personally when seeking employment in the future.

I had also seen, growing up, the importance of an accountant and the positive role they played in our family business.

Why Chartered Accountants Ireland?

Chartered Accountants Ireland have a worldwide reputation, they are the largest accountancy body in Ireland and have a strong track record of consistent high-quality teaching for professional exams.

Can you explain the Flexible Route to someone who doesn't know what it is?

The Flexible Route enabled me to undertake my professional studies before I had secured a training contract (I subsequently obtained a training contract with Cavanagh Kelly Chartered Accountants) to obtain the necessary experience. I benefitted from this greatly as it allowed me to keep the momentum of my studies going while still facilitating me to achieve my working career objectives.

What are the advantages to working and studying?

Application of what is being learnt to a “live” working environment, and no requirement for a career break to press on with studies – working period has an unbroken record.

Where have you worked and what kind of roles have you been in?

Upon completion of my training contract I undertook a role as Finance Manager of a franchise business for 2 years before setting up my own Accountancy Sub-Contracting & Bookkeeping Company, which has been going for 4 years to date.

Describe a typical day for you?

Varied depending on cases being worked on. 

Is it flexible?

Yes, I found it to be very flexible as I found the qualification moulded to my working life very well and accommodated the various challenges that posed.

How was combining work and study?

This is a key component of the qualification and it is almost the most difficult to get right! I quickly learnt I needed to be very organised to facilitate success in both areas and to have the energy personally to compete on both fronts. Preparation and planning were the keys to success.

Can you see how someone who is not an accountant might benefit from this qualification?

Yes, as it allows studies and training to be done largely at the pace of the applicant. The accessibility of lecturers (often in their own time) to answer questions was also something which I found advantageous. 

What advice would you give someone who is considering the Flexible Route?

It is a challenge to complete the Chartered exams however the Flexible Route was best suited for me to achieve this. As long as you plan and prepare your time from the start it should be a manageable challenge.

What success are you looking for & what are your future goals?

To expand my company and ensure its continued success.